Anyone who is looking to get involved in the world of criminal investigation needs to have a great resume, first and foremost.
Without the resume, one will never be able to actually interview for a position and secure themselves inside of a great position in the constantly evolving industry of crime scene investigations and forensics.
More and more shows are popping up that revolve around criminal investigators.
As a result, there are more people than ever before looking for careers within this field. It makes it harder to stand out of the crowd and employers are looking for more than just experience or a degree in criminal psychology.
The Details of a Criminal Investigator Resume
Every resume has a few key components that need to be fleshed out in order to make it more eye-appealing to potential employers. This includes the categories of:
- Work Experience
- Additional Knowledge & Tasks
Within the resume, each of these categories must be well-thought out and highly impressive. This means that one must write out the details in an impressive manner but also have enough actual details to make them impressive. Without being able to stand out in one’s field, the job will likely go to someone more qualified who knows how to write a better resume.
A resume is the time to impress. This means sharing all of one’s best details. If you can’t toot your own horn in your resume, you’ll never be able to toot it anywhere you go. Remember that you’re competing with hundreds and potentially thousands of other candidates. You need to give the employers something to really sink their teeth into.
Looking at the Objective
The objective of every criminal investigator resume should be to get hired. This isn’t what you would write in the objective, though. You need to express your intent as to why you are a good fit into a particular organization. This content should often be written for a particular employer in mind, focusing on what the company already does well and what you can offer to make their operation more effective.
This includes using words and phrases such as conducting investigations in a professional environment where you will be able to use your past experience and the knowledge of the case to better improve the city’s crime rates.
What Gives You the Experience
You need to detail all of your professional experience when you’re writing out your resume for a criminal investigator. Whether you’ve been a criminal investigator for years or not, you need to show future employers that you have some sort of experience. While you don’t need to focus on jobs that you had in high school or college that don’t show anything about your ability to do the job, even internships can be discussed here.
In order to get the attention of the employers you need to show two main things. The first is that you have a significant amount of time on the job. People will look at how long you were in each job and if there were any gaps in employment. If there are gaps, it can show that you’re not able to handle the detail of the job and you could leave if you get too many “hard” cases. If you’re not staying long enough at a job it could also show flaws in your character.
Another aspect to the experience on your resume is that you want to use bullet points to display the different aspects of your job. Especially within the world of criminal investigation, the different tactics and techniques that you use to solve the cases should be included. Not all departments and cities have the same amount of resources, so if you’ve done crime scene analysis, psychology, surveillance operations or anything else, this is the time to share it so that potential employers can see how resourceful you are when it comes to solving a case.
Take a Look at Your Education
While it’s always important to list where you have been educated, it’s more than just listing where you went to school. Make sure that you list what school you went to, what kind of degree you have and what the degree is in. Criminal law is the most common for a criminal investigator resume but it’s not the only type of degree that you could have.
Even if you have an associate’s degree or you minored in something else that could be useful, list it on your resume. This could include psychology, forensics, computer technology or anything else that is even remotely useful. Consider foreign languages, too.
In addition to your formal education, think about any courses, workshops or conferences you’ve attended over the years that have helped you develop into the successful criminal investigator that you are today. That is all part of your education and should be listed. It shows that you are educated in these topics and also shows that you are continually enhancing your education within the field, which can speak volumes about your character to future employers.
Additional Skills of a Criminal Investigator
Additional skills should be listed so that you can brag about yourself and show that you are capable of approaching different cases from different angles. Anything that will help you throughout your professional life can be listed here. This is where you may want to discuss your fluency in multiple languages, how you’ve passed the state bar exam, any negotiation skills you have, writing or computer skills or anything else.
This is not the time to be bashful about what you’ve done. There are a lot of other candidates out there who will be listing their skills, so you need to make sure that you’re able to compete. Start with a basic list, think about some of the cases and what you’ve done to solve them and add to the list over time until it’s comprehensive.
Sample Resume of a Criminal Investigator
1234 Main Street, Anytown, GA 01234
To make the city of Atlanta a safer place to live by using my 15 years of criminal investigations experience with other qualified individuals in a very fast-paced and professional environment. With my knowledge of criminal psychology and the department’s desire to focus so much energy on the crime rates, the city can be drastically improved.
1991 -2009 Criminal Investigator, City of Peaches, Georgia
- Worked on a total of 114 cases involving a number of different types of crimes
- Examined crime scenes for clues, submitted fingerprints to lab
- Worked with coroner’s office on a number of cases
- Conducted covert operations
- Collaborated with other agencies and offices to gather additional information
- Conducted interviews and received evidence in accordance to guidelines set up by city
1986-1994 Professor of Forensics, University of Peaches
- Taught three classes across the university’s curriculum about forensics, criminal psychology and the mind of the criminal
- Was published 17 times in Forensics Quarterly
- Helped on numerous cases in city, state and national level
- BA in Criminal Law, University of Peaches (1984)
- BA in Criminal Psychology, University of Nectarines (1986)
- Digital Forensics Course (1994)
- Crime Scene Photography Course (1996)
Tips & Tricks of a Good Resume
Having a resume stand out is not an easy task, whether it’s for a criminal investigator or any other position. Since the competition is so fierce for criminal investigator jobs, it’s important to polish up your resume as well as possible before you start to submit. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you stand out.
- Don’t use a generic cover letter. When you’ve gone through the trouble of working on your resume, make sure that you write a cover letter geared towards who you’re submitting it to. Outline some of your best skills and why that employer wants to have you on the job.
- Keep it simple. Go with bold headlines on your resume and use direct wording. Don’t try and add colors or graphics because it will show that you’re inexperienced and juvenile.
- Add a summary of qualifications. Just under your objective, you can add a summary of qualifications to highlight what sets you apart from other criminal investigators. This can include how many years of experience you have or even highly-specialized degrees.
- Keep your education current. The more courses or education you are able to list, the more it shows that you’re staying up to date on current technology.
Ultimately, your resume is the way to get your foot in the door. This details everything that you have worked your entire life for. You need to make sure you can prove yourself on paper. If you don’t have enough experience, then work towards it by doing volunteer work or taking internships. If your education is looking a little inadequate, find some new courses to help you get the competitive edge that you need. If your skills are looking lackluster, find out what other skills are out there and look at taking seminars to help you develop yourself into a better criminal investigator.
The more you can put on your resume and sprinkle throughout your cover letter, the easier it will be to show that you are the best candidate for the criminal investigator position that you are applying for.
A well-written and professional resume will speak volumes about who you are and your capabilities of solving crimes.
Resumes are very simple to write as long as you are focusing on the right information to put inside.